January 04, 2006

An academic's guide to Hollywood

Or, how to get paid for being a nerd.  Hollywood producer Kate Coe writes this interesting and informative piece on academic consultants and their role in production.

You might have a named chair at Hallowed Halls U, but on a film set,
status is measured by the size of your budget -- and you don't have
one. With no budget, there's not much reason for the camera operators,
set designers, or props department to take you too seriously. On the
other hand, an adviser does have access to the director and to the
star. (You have access to the writer, too, but writers don't have much
status, as they will be quick to complain.) So work with decorum, be
collegial, and go through channels.
Interestingly the piece features the contributions of several Caltech professors to the current CBS show NUMB3RS, including Gary Lorden, who allowed me to pass Math 2C/1D (statistics) with a D, and Richard Wilson, who is famous as the Math 1A (freshman fall term math) prof, and who was long destined for Hollywood between his penchant for flute playing in class (to demonstrate harmonics) and his tendency to name functions ("Take f(x), let's call it Frank...")

h/t Joanne Jacobs

Posted by caltechgirl at January 4, 2006 12:54 PM | TrackBack